To summarize is to take ideas and present them again in a more concise way. But to analyze is to reach your own conclusions about how the elements of a topic, theory, issue, or story fit together to create something that may not be evident at first glance.
Your written assignment this week, the Source Critique Essay, asks you to engage with one source. Here, you’ll practice the different steps and stages to building a successful critique using summary and analysis.
STEP ONE: Writing a Summary
A summary is a short objective overview of the main ideas of a larger work. It includes only the broader points or purpose of a work rather than the details or smaller plot points. You can think of a summary as how you might boil down the main points of an article to describe it to other people.
Using the article that will be the focus for your Week 2 Written Assignment, restate the main idea of the article.
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Now, break down the main points. Remember, these are just the main points that support the main idea, without any examples or evidence.
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This roadmap will help you develop the required material for your Week2 Written Assignment. Remember that to write a summary, you should include all of the main points or ideas in the work but avoid smaller details or ideas. Your summary should be written using your own words and will present the main ideas objectively, avoiding your own opinion and thoughts about the work.
STEP TWO: Analyzing the Information
Analysis means breaking something down into its various elements and then asking critical thinking questions in order to reach some conclusions of your own. When asked to write an analysis, you must also add your own understanding of what you’ve discovered about your topic.
What’s your reaction to the information revealed in the article? Was it surprising, or did it align with your own previous understanding of the topic?
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What information from the article do you think is the most important? Why?
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STEP THREE: Pulling It Together
Your Week 2 Written Assignment will ask you to interpret the information from your article. This really means that you’ll comment on the usefulness of the article, and what it contributes to understanding the topic or issue.
Use this space to share your ideas about how this article contributes to your understanding of the importance of the overall topic you are exploring. Don’t worry about writing a formal paragraph. Just try to capture the ideas you will finalize and polish as you complete your Week 2 Written Assignment.
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ENG122 Week 2 Research Notebook


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